Bruce and I go to Bouchon BH for dinner at least twelve times a year (whenever he is in Los Angeles).  It is his favorite restaurant in Los Angeles.  Usually, we order wine off the list, but on special occasions (such as this) we bring some legendary bottles.   So, to celebrate the West Coast version of Bruce’s birthday, I joined a few of Bruce’s other LA friends for dinner.

I got there a few minutes early because the bar(s) at Bouchon (both the Bistro Bar, which I love, and the Cafe Bar downstairs ) make THE BEST Pisco Sour in Los Angeles, I kid you not.   Andrew had set us up with my favorite big booth at the back, which overlooks what is probably the most gorgeous dining room in Los Angeles.

The food at Bouchon is great wine food; everything is simple and perfectly done.  I have written extensively about the roast chicken (and fries); tonight, the entire group started with the seafood tower (for the champagnes and the white wine), and then we all had the chicken (with fries).   I have had 5 hour lunches at Bouchon in which we tried multiple menu items (there are so many great dishes here) — it is arguably the best bistro in America (there are a few others in NY that come close).  One time, I was there for lunch with some European friends, it was raining lightly outside — we drank Chablis and ate Oysters and Onion Soup and Quiche, Charcuterie and Cheese and some simple red burgs, and they told me, as we were leaving (after a 4.5 hour lunch) that this is the closest they had ever come to “a Parisian experience” in America.  Anyway, when you are drinking legendary wines, perfectly prepared simple bistro food always works.

A big thank you to Andrew, our sommelier, for doing such an incredible job with these wines — he paid so much attention to us (the restaurant was full) it was like we had our own private somm.

THE WINES:  1979 Salon; 1990 Krug Clos De Mesnil; 2011 Coche Dury Corton Charlemagne; 1961 Latour; 1971 Petrus; 1990 Dujac Clos De Roche; 1990 DRC Richebourg; 1990 DRC La Tache.

The 1979 Salon and 1990 Krug Clos De Mesnil were textbook examples of these champagnes — the 79 Salon was a perfect bottle of this incredibly balanced champ and I absolutely loved it — this is a very rare wine indeed.  It was more elegant, more balanced, more dry and less sweet than the 90,  with that fantastic old vanilla thing the Salon does so well (Pain Grille?).

The 2011 Coche CC is a must try white wine — I had it a month or so ago at Masa with Will and Jay (see the blog) and this is an off the charts Coche — it is a teeth searing powerhouse.  It needs two hours decanting, BTW, to really soar (and soften up a little).

The 1961 Latour started out a bit tannic (with some VA) but eventually calmed down and  lost the edge in the glass as the fruit gradually emerged and it ended up being a good but not great bottle — the 1961 Latour, once my most favorite bord, might be fading, so if you have it drink up.  The 1971 Petrus is one of my favorite Petrus (if you want to try a textbook example of the Petrus style, drink the 1971 {or the 1961 if you can afford it}).  In order to really to see what Petrus is about, it needs at least 50 years of age on the bottle.

The 90 DRCs are monsters — I will be long gone before they are in the zone.  Still, it is always a treat to try them as they are amongst the greatest burgundies ever made.  Many people think the 1990 La Tache is the best La Tache of all time — and I would not argue with them.  The 1990 Dujac CDR was the big surprise of the night — it was a MIND BLOWER — vibrant, pure, transparent — the best cherry cola I have ever had.

Here are some photos:



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